Meet the man who runs Holland Village’s iconic Thambi Magazine Store


Yet, because the import of foreign titles was halted, Thambi Magazine Store was “severely attacked” for five months. Sam remembers crying at one point realizing that his family’s legacy could end with him. But he said he found immense strength in his mother’s words.

“She was like, ‘Look, so many people have gone out of business but you’re still here. All customers who want to buy magazines will be looking for you. Why think negatively? Think the other way.

Nevertheless, fear hovers as long as the pandemic continues. “Every time they make an announcement I get scared,” Sam said, “yesterday announcement was scary for me too.


When asked if magazines have a place in the future, Sam’s confidence is remarkable. “We were here when television and radio were there. Then dot com came along and Amazon launched the Kindle. I’ll just see it as another challenge. I firmly believe that the hard copy will retain its place,” he said.

Sam told us that Monocle, which he’s been stocking for over 15 years now, is still doing well even though several foreign newspapers have been shut down. It’s a bit pricey, but it sells well.

For him, magazines differ from books in that they are a flow of updated ideas. Compared to digital articles, which have to compete for our attention with other open tasks, magazines offer a less distracting reading experience.


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